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Laptops

Get a refurbished MacBook Air 11.6 for $499.99

From the Cheapskate: It's an older model, but also a higher-end configuration than you typically see at this price.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


Morning, cheeps! Today is a rerun of sorts, but the best possible kind: Same bargain price, better configuration than last time.

I'm a longtime Windows user, at least on the laptop side of things, but the drool starts flowing whenever I see a MacBook Air. It's just gorgeous hardware -- but, oh, so expensive.

Originally $1,099, this MacBook Air 11 is on sale for $499.99 out the door!

CNET

Or not, if you're willing to opt for a refurbished unit. Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, TechRabbit has the refurbished MacBook Air MD711LL/A 11.6-inch laptop for $499.99 shipped. That's after applying promo code CNETMD711 at checkout.

The last time I wrote about this model, it was the entry-level version: slow processor, limited RAM and storage, etc.

This configuration includes an Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state storage. The 11.6-inch screen is a far cry from Retina, as it has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768, but I'd argue that's more than sufficient for this size.

As I mentioned above, I'm not a Mac user, and therefore not an expert. So I'll turn you over to CNET's Scott Stein, who reviewed this model and had mostly good things to say about it: comfy backlit keyboard, USB 3.0 ports, travel-friendly 2.4-pound chassis, etc. The big complaint? Price. But that was when the entry-level configuration sold for $999, and this exact one for $1,099.

Interestingly, although this comes from a third-party reseller, it's listed as having a one-year warranty -- same as you get for refurbs purchased from Apple proper.

It's a little late to be eyeballing laptops for students, but I think this would be a great pick for anyone lugging a backback. Or anyone seeking an ultra-thin, ultra-light PC that doesn't cost at least $800. I'm sure I'll get some dings for recommending an Apple product on a blog for cheapskates, but $500 is extremely respectable for a laptop like this.

Your thoughts?

Vtin

Bonus deal: If you'll allow me a book recommendation, Hugh Howey's "Wool" ranks among some of the best dystopian sci-fi I've read. For a limited time, Amazon has "Wool: Omnibus Edition" for Kindle for just $1.99. That nets you all five books in the Silo series.

Bonus deal No. 2: How can I let a week go by without a Bluetooth speaker deal? Answer: can't. For a limited time, you can get the Vtin Rocker portable Bluetooth speaker for $16.99 when you apply promotion code F89PWRB4 at checkout. Regular price: $30.99.

It's water-resistant and comes with a caribiner clip. It also sports a built-in microphone for speakerphone calling and a built-in LED flashlight for finding your way in the dark. Battery life is estimated at around 8 hours.